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Troubleshooting iOS 10: The Ultimate Guide

iMessage Lasers
iMessage Lasers (Image credit: Rene Ritchie)

iOS 10 is now available on supported iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. As with all new major operating system updates, there are issues with iOS 10. If you don't see your issue on this list, please let us know and we'll do what we can to figure out how to troubleshoot it.

I was trying to download iOS 10 and it "bricked" my iPhone! Help!

Technically, your iPhone or iPad isn't bricked. As long as it can eventually be recovered in some way, it's just temporarily out of commission. But, when you can't figure out how to get it working again, it sure does feel like a brick. A $749 brick. Ouch.

Lucky for you, I went through that exact problem when I tried installing iOS 10 on my iPad. After a few tries, I got it working again. I didn't even have to restore it to the Factory settings.

I hate iOS 10. I want iOS 9 back!

There is always going to be a few people that just can't live with the changes in a major software update. Whether Apple removed a feature that you loved or you just don't like the new bigger, bolder design, you can always return to an archived backup that you've saved (you did save an archived backup, didn't you?).

I just hate having to press the Home button to unlock my iPhone

I don't know about you, but I got used to not having to press down on the Home button to open my iPhone in iOS 9. Sure, Touch ID worked so fast that I would sometimes miss notifications, but I didn't have to press the Home button to unlock my iPhone like an animal. In iOS 10, Apple added an extra step to get into your iPhone. Why??!! If you want that zippy unlock back, you can have your way.

OMG! The battery drain in iOS 10 is killing my iPhone!

Did you notice by the end of the day that your iPhone's battery was sucked dry? Believe it, or not, that is not unusual when you install a major update to iOS. It has to do with your iPhone needing to index all of the new goodies. Typically, the battery drain issue will go away after a few days. Typically.

Why can't my friend see my slam animation on his iPhone?

The first thing I tried after updating to iOS 10 was sending an animated messages to my friend. I "Slammed" a greeting. The effect was lost on him, though. He hadn't updated to iOS 10 yet.

Things look a little different for those still on an older version of iOS or OS X. They will get a weird notification when you use something that they can't see yet, like "sent with Slam Effect."

I'm on iOS 10 but I can't see the Bubble effects?

Did your buddy send you a Bubble effect, but it doesn't look like anything on your iPhone? That might be because you have Reduce Motion enabled. The accessibility feature uses the same physics engine that Bubble effects in Messages does.

What else?

Are you dealing with iOS 10 woes? Rest your head on our shoulders and let us find a fix for you. Tell us your problems in the comments section.

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).

68 Comments
  • Bedtime alarms are still way too quiet! I would sleep right through all of these even with all volumes cranked to the max on my SE. This was a reported issue in the betas and they still haven't addressed it in the public release.
  • This is a shot in the dark, but have you looked in accessibility settings, there might be something to increase phone volume in there
  • I use the bedtime alarm every day. I get up at 5:30 am. It wakes me up, just fine. If anything, I wish it started out quieter and got louder more gradually. If Bedtime is too quiet for you, it just not a good way for you to wake up in the morning. I have a friend that blasts radio static super loud from across the room to wake up in the morning. He says it's the only way he will get out of bed. Everyone is different.
  • The screen keyboard won't pop up on my iPad Pro when the keyboard cover is attached and in the folded position. An ideas?
  • Try disconnecting your Smart Keyboard from your iPad Pro and then reconnect. If that doesn't work, try restarting your iPad Pro. Let me know if it worked.
  • I had a lot of trouble getting apps to work in the new messaging. Took 4-5 tries and a number of reboots to get IMDB & ESPN working. Still haven't gotten Fandango to work yet. I realize this isn't very important stuff. But they are kind of cool when they work. It was nice to send my buddy a ESPN score of the Mets game last night to rub it in. So far, that's been my only real issue. Knock on wood!
  • I have the same problem... Several iMessage apps (ESPN, GiF Keyboard, Yelp) that I've tried only show their icon when I try to use them in Messages. I have gotten Evernote to work and Appke's smiley to work though. What am I doing wrong? Reboots, redownloads don't seem to help...
  • We're looking into the iMessages extension issues. Hopefully, we'll have a fix shortly.
  • "I don't know about you, but I got used to not having to press down on the Home button to open my iPhone in iOS 9."
    Am I missing something here? On my 6s, unless I used the power button to wake the device, I most certainly did have to press the home button to open the phone in iOS 9.
  • You change it back to how it use to be in the settings, under accessibility you should see an option labeled "Home Button". Make sure you have it set to where you can just lay your finger on the home button instead of pressing it to unlock. Sent from the iMore App
  • I realize that, but that wasn't the point of my comment. My point was that Lory was saying you didn't have to press the Home button in iOS 9 to unlock the phone, and I'm saying that you did, unless the phone was already woke via the Power button or a notification.
  • In iOS 9, you would unlock your iPhone using Touch ID and it would open to the Home screen. In iOS 10, unless you change it in settings, you must unlock your iPhone using Touch ID and then press the Home button again to open it to the Home screen.
  • I get it. But in iOS 9, if you picked up your phone and it wasn't awake (just a blank screen), in order to get Touch ID to unlock, you still had to press a button, whether it's the Home button or the Power button.
    With iOS 10, when I pick up my phone, it wakes automatically, so just the one press of the button unlocks it. Enabling "Rest Finger to Open" in the settings enables me to go from one press to zero presses.
  • I have lost the GIF's and image options. Tried numerous times to reset also verified that they were not inadvertently removed from the manage section. The image option does not appear anymore. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Sent from the iMore App
  • In which app are you having trouble?
  • It appears that I am not the only one with the GIF issue with messenger.
    https://www.reddit.com/r/ios/comments/520zv0/ios_10_beta_gif_search_gone... Sent from the iMore App
  • We're looking into the iMessages extension issues. Hopefully, we'll have a fix shortly.
  • I have been having the same issue with the GIF search in iMessage on my iPhone 6s since the GM "beta" release. And it's also missing on my iPhone SE which I updated from iOS 9 yesterday. Sent from the iMore App
  • Anyone know if the "rise to wake" feature is for the 6s and 7 only? My wife has the 6 and it doesn't seem to have it.
  • The iPhone requires an M-series chip to be compatible with Raise To Wake. So, iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, and SE are the only ones compatible.
  • I found it. I'm guessing it's not on by default.
  • You found "Raise to wake" on iPhone 6? Where?
  • The iPhone requires an M-series chip to be compatible with Raise To Wake. So, iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, and SE are the only ones compatible.
  • Ok thanks, that's what I thought.
  • Rene - is there a troubleshooting guide for those people with iPhones and iPads who don't also own a computer with iTunes?
  • What is your trouble? There are many issues with iPhone and iPad devices that don't require connecting to iTunes. If you don't own a computer, but absolutely must connect your device to iTunes in order to fix a problem, you can make a Genius appointment and have Apple help you.
  • I would like to start over with iPhone 7 and not to restore from back up. But I also don't want to loose my apple watch activity data. Is there any import / export mechanism or will I have to restore form backup ?
  • I cannot get ESPN or Yelp to work in imessage. I've logged in and out of the apps and I've turned them on and off in the imessage app management. Nothing seems to make them work. Any ideas?
  • I have seen a couple of problems with watchOS. One is when updating to the new version of watchOS the phone and they watch loses pairing. Apple says this is a known problem the only way to fix it is to go into your general settings of your watch and set it as a brand you watch. Once that is done you should be able to repair and restore from last saved and that will fix your problem.
  • The second problem I found which may be only to me is that when using voice dictation and watchOS for a long message the message shows up on the screen and it's entirety but it will not send it just sits there forever. I would love to have a fix for this because I use audio messaging frequently.
  • We'll look into it. Thanks.
  • Is the last beta release for iOS 10 the same as the full edition just released? If so, it has some bugs. If not, how do I download the full new release? Love how it works over all! Sent from the iMore App
  • Yes, it is version 10.0.1, you can confirm the build number in Settings -> General -> About under "Version". The build is 14A403 for the "Gold Master" released last week and what came out on September 13.
  • First the update bricked my device. Resolved that issue, got the update installed, but now my battery drains crazy fast and I can't get my phone to recognize my Bluetooth headphones
  • For battery drain, read this: http://www.imore.com/how-to-fix-iphone-battery-life-problems For Bluetooth, Open Settings > Bluetooth > Tap the (i) next to your headphones > Forget this Device. And then try re-pairing from scratch.
  • Sorry didn't mean to report the post. This stupid phone! Thanks I actually did try looking up solutions to my bluetooth issue and they all suggested the same thing but there is no device for me to forget. THe phone doesn't even acknowledge that there is a bluetooth enabled device nearby to connect too. Super frustrating. I'm going to have to likely wipe and then restore again.
  • I also had to get onto a desktop to reply to this post. The mobile website wasn't having any of it -_-Even when I tried using the "desktop version"
  • Before you go the nuclear option, have you tried simply turning off your iPhone and then turning it on again? Sometimes, wireless headphones need their own update (I had that happen with my UE9000 headphones and Apple Watch). Check with your headphone manufacturer.
  • How do I sort my notifications by apps?
  • Open the Settings app > Notifications
  • Wrong. You're not able to sort them there Sent from the iMore App
  • You're right. Because the question is vague, I thought the commenter wanted to know where you see your notification options based on the app itself. If you are wondering how to sort your actual Lock screen notifications by app instead of by day, there is no way to do that in iOS 10. Apple changed the feature to sort by date, not by app.
  • Hey all- I cannot respond to notifications directly from the Notification Center (whether locked or unlocked) from an iPhone 6. The only swipe options I have are "View" and "Clear". Any help you can provide is appreciated!
  • When you tap "View" it will open the notification so you can respond from the Lock screen (For example, tap "View" on a notification calendar event in Calendar 5 to "Snooze" it). It's sort of like having 3D Touch for all notifications.
  • It seems to me that the Notification Center is genuinely flawed in that you can't sort by app and when you clear a message it just brings in an older one to replace it. This has to be a mistake right? Sent from the iMore App
  • Notification Center is no longer sorted by app. Apps are sorted by date. When you clear a day, notification from the previous day show up. It makes it easier for people to clear out notifications on a daily basis. It is a design change, but not a mistake.
  • If you're making it easier to clear out an entire days worth at once then that probably illustrates a larger problem with notifications Sent from the iMore App
  • Lory Gil pls how do I get "LED flash for notification" back running on my phone. I did set it to on but it won't flash when I get a text. I need it running as I do not like my phone to Buzz or vibrate.Everything was perfect before iOS 10. Thanks! Sent from the iMore App
  • Have you tried turning your iPhone off, and then back on again? Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button for a few seconds until you see the Slide to power off button. Then, Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until you see the Apple logo.
  • My home button is broken and I have to press home to upgrade, I can't get into my phone. Help me, please!
  • Yikes. Try this: Press the Sleep/Wake button to wake the screen. Swipe down from the very top of your screen (start from where that little lock icon is) to call up your Today view or notifications. Then, tap on one of your notifications or Today cards (like News or Weather). Then, you will be asked to enter your password and the iPhone will unlock and take you to the app you tapped in Notification Center. Since your Home button is broken, hopefully, you already turned on Assistive Touch to use a substitute Home button. If the broken Home button is brand new, you're probably going to have to take it into Apple for a fix.
  • My phone isn't even on my homescreen, it is only a white screen that says press home to upgrade, nothing else. I'm stuck and getting really upset.
  • Are you able to connect your iPhone to a computer with iTunes? If so, try Restoring your iPhone. If not, press-and-hold the Sleep/Wake button until you see "Slide to power off." Power your iPhone off. Then, press-and-hold the Sleep/Wake button until you see the Apple Logo. Maybe this resets the iPhone?
  • I like having contact photos on in messages but not the initials for contacts with no photos. I could live with the initials if they were in the right order, but since I like my contacts to show last name first in my address book, IOS 10 assumes I want them to show that way in messages and in the initials bubble. I don't! I don't think this was the case in IOS 9. Any way to change the order to first name first for anything other that the contacts address book?
  • Try going to Settings > Contacts > Display Order and switch the display order to First, Last. This won't change the way contacts are listed in your Contacts app (Last, First). It will only change the way they are displayed (like, the initials in Messages).
  • I would like them to display Last, First in Contacts but not in Messages.
  • That's what I'm saying. Your contacts will sort in Contacts Last, First. But in Messages, that little initials logo will display First, Last.
  • This is not the behavior I am seeing. Messages seems to use the Contacts setting for displaying name and initials. At least for me that's what is happening. And imho, I can't imagine anyone thinks that the initials in Last, First is at all useful. To be clear in the Contacts app I'd like names to be sorted and displayed in Last, First.
  • I think I understand now. You want your contacts to be sorted Last, First and you want the Contact Card (the thing you see when you tap a person's name in the Contacts app) to be displayed Last, First. But, when you are in Messages, you want the Initials to be First, Last. Correct? Unfortunately, you only have the option to 1. Sort names in the Contacts app and 2. Display names across the OS.
  • Bingo. Exactly. The names don't bother me as much as the backwards initials. I don't recall this happening in iOS 9. Looks like I have to decide which annoys me less; having Contacts displayed First, Last, or having names/initials in Messages displayed Last, First.
  • I have a problem with service connection, I haven't gone any place different and I get little to no service in places that I used to have full bars since update. All of a sudden my iMessages won't send and I can't receive texts. Sent from the iMore App
  • And what's up with the health app. Use to have useful graphs, but now the axis are way off and pointless Sent from the iMore App
  • On my iPhone 6, the sound levels in iOS 10 seem completely messed up. Tried every trick in the book (including "Accsessibility") to get my phone to raise the sounds in question to a sensible ( = audible! ) level, ...without any luck. :-/ Okay, ...the sound that used to be heard when connecting to the charger, as well as the locking sound are not essential. I will miss them being at a normal level, but hey, quieting them down doesn't degrade the iPhone's usability. The keyboard click, however, ...different story! It is BARELY audible at all, on the iPhone 6 (while in a silent room, with the ringer volume cranked up to almost full). Not being able to hear it with even the slightest noise around you, like a bit of a soft wind or people talking, outside, just doesn't make any sense. Even when in a silent room, ...I originally liked your idea to make the clicking sound appear a bit less "static", by adding that slight variation in level, on each key press. After a minute of typing, though, it sounds waaay too organic and gets really annoying. Well, ...doesn't really matter much as long as the sounds are basically INAUDIBLE in 98% of real life surroundings. PLEASE fix this, Apple!!! On a quiet night, when I get blinded by those bright new notifications and way brighter background in folder zoom, ...and I get reminded of the fact that my iPhone used to have a usable keyboard click, even during the daytime, I look at those shiny new (well, touched up) 3D-Emojis on my flat graphics iPhone, ...I can't help but wonder if people over at apple are bored to death. Why else would anybody in his right mind mess with features that were nice (AND working!) instead of focusing on what's really needed, or what users are actually complaining about? I'm sorry for the rage, but I used to LOVE Apple for the fact that Steve Jobs wouldn't release a product, OS, or software, until it was extremely close to "perfect" (at least to his own taste, and taste he did have). iOS 10 is so unfinished and unpolished, wether you want to hear it or not, ...he probably would have slapped it right in your face (...until it was DONE). I think it's a shame what has become of Apple. Although it's hard, I can live with you guys giving up on desktop computers and the professional users who made Apple great over the past two centuries, ...but if you insist on focusing on cash-cow consumer products, AT LEAST do those right and IN STYLE! Make your products deserve that Apple logo again! And now shake it off and stop "improving" features that already work and no user is complaining about! Have a sip out of your Apple coffee mug and go fix those sound issues for a start! Pffffffff
  • After using 3D Touch on my iPhone 7 to reply to a message from within Notification Centre, I can no longer normally tap on a different notification in Notification Centre... Is anyone else having this problem?
  • I have an iPhone 6s, my girlfriend has a 6
    We have both lost flash on notification and flash on silent.
    We go to the settings and it's clicked on and green on both phones.
    Tryied rebooting both phones, still not flashing.
    Flash works for camera, just not notifications or in silent mode.
    I did notice it does work on the alarm in the morning tho, just weird it doesn't work on what I really want it to work on.
  • I just upgraded to the new 10.0 iOS and really, really, really dislike being asked what effects to send text messages with. Rather than hitting "Send" once, I now have to perform two more clicks -- even to choose not to use effects. Is there a way to make this stop?
  • Every time someone texts me and it shows on the lock screen, I go to slide to the left and it only says close. Is there something I have to do to get it so I can reply from my lock screen notifications?
  • You press and hold the message, it should come up and then you should be able to respond